Behind a trio of home runs, the Utah Valley University softball team defeated UMKC, 10-6, on Saturday afternoon in Kansas City en route to recording a three-game WAC series sweep over the Kangaroos.
Basia Query and Kaylee Bott led the way for the Wolverines on the day by going a combined 5-for-8 with three homers, seven runs batted in and three runs scored as the Wolverines (13-22, 5-3 WAC) completed the three-game sweep for the second-consecutive season over the Roos (10-31, 0-9 WAC).
"Our pitchers absolutely dominated, and our hitters got the job done every inning. We really worked together and fought hard as a team this weekend," sophomore catcher Query said. "I can't wait to go back home and get back to work before the weekend series against NM State."
After sweeping the doubleheader on Friday, the Wolverines continued to hold the upper hand early in Saturday's series finale by driving home three quick runs in the top of the first to take a 3-0 lead. Brianna Moeller started the inning with a leadoff double and later came in to score on a wild pitch to give UVU a 1-0 lead. Lyndsay Steverson followed by reaching on an error, and Query drove both home with a two-run home run to left to extend Utah Valley's early lead to 3-0.
UVU then pushed in another unearned run in the second to extend its advantage to 4-0. Abbie Tuttle reached on an error and later came home on a passed ball to give the Wolverines the four-run lead.
The Kangaroos then countered back with a run of their own in the last of the second on a sacrifice fly from Alyx Bloom to make it 4-1, but UVU answered with another run in the top of the third to take a 5-1 advantage. Peyton Angulo reached on an error and came around to score on an RBI single to right from Kaylee Bott.
UMKC then pulled to within three with another run in the bottom of the third to make it a 5-2 ballgame. Olivia Fluehr drove home the run in the frame for the Roos with a two-out RBI single.
Still 5-2 in the fifth, Utah Valley's offense produced two more runs to extend its lead to 7-2. Steverson and Query both singled to put two on with nobody out, and Madison Sisco followed by driving home pinch-runner Linnah Rebolledo to give UVU a 6-2 lead. Bott then drove home fellow pinch-runner Kiara Kennedy with an RBI groundout to give the Wolverines a 7-2 advantage.
Kansas City struck back with three runs of its own in the last of the sixth to pull within two at 7-5. Sydney Garcia tripled home a run and later scored on a throwing error, while Ashlyn O'Brien later scored on another Wolverine miscue to make things interesting.
Utah Valley bounced right back with a pair of seventh-inning round trippers to take a 10-5 lead. With one out, Query started the scoring by blasting out her second home run of the game — this time a solo shot to left — to give UVU an 8-5 lead. After Sisco drew a one-out walk, Bott followed by driving out a two-run homer to left center to give UVU a little breathing room with a 10-5 lead.
Addie Jensen, who started in the circle and pitched the first three innings of the ballgame, reentered the contest for the Wolverines in the last of the seventh. Jensen gave up a run but ended up escaping a jam by striking out two of the final three batters she faced to help the Wolverines hold on for the 10-6 victory.
Jensen (8-9) was credited with the win after going 4.0 innings and giving up just three runs on nine hits and striking out two. Makayla Shadle also pitched well for the Wolverines in the ballgame by giving up just one earned run (three total) and striking out three in 3.0 innings of relief. UMKC's Fluehr (4-8) was tagged with the loss after giving up six earned runs (10 total) in 6.1 innings of action.
Query led the way for UVU at the plate by going 3-for-4 with two home runs, three runs batted in and two runs scored, while Bott posted a 2-for-4 outing with a homer, four RBIs and one run scored. Sisco also had a nice game by going a perfect 1-for-1 with an RBI, a run scored and three walks. Fluehr led UMKC at the plate by going 3-for-5 with an RBI and a walk.
"We have played really well together in conference play, and this weekend was something really good to build off of," said junior third baseman Bott. "Everyone has started to click, and I'm excited to get back home against NM State next weekend."
The Wolverines now return to Utah for a midweek contest at in-state foe Utah State on Wednesday, April 18, at 4 p.m. MT. Following the non-conference contest, UVU will return to Orem for its final home series of the season when it welcomes first-place New Mexico State to town for a three-game series. The WAC series is slated for a Friday game at 2 p.m. and a Saturday doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m.
James Warnick is an assistant sports information director at Utah Valley University. For more information about Wolverine athletics, visit GoUVU.com.